The season of Advent is a time for waiting for the Lord – waiting, of course, for the second coming; waiting for our celebration of his first coming in the birth of Bethlehem.
Our waiting can seem long and protracted, wearisome. It can seem that way in prospect, and in our living of it.
It is to that discomfort that the Lord speaks in the first reading today, the first Sunday of Advent.
See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I am going to fulfil the promise I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah:
‘In those days and at that time,
I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David,
who shall practise honesty and integrity in the land.
In those days Judah shall be saved
and Israel shall dwell in confidence.
And this is the name the city will be called:
There is reassurance in the word of the Lord to stiffen our sinews, restore us to an active watching, helping us to an eagerness in our anticipation for what is not yet, but is surely coming.
The altars of Oxford Street and shopping centres up and down the country proclaim happiness is found in spending. Their bright light seek to dispel any darkness, but they fail, of course. Look around…
But the time will come, the Kingdom will come – and for that we are to watch and wait and work…
Jeremiah from Abbey of St Peter, Mossac: a cast in the collection of the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. (c) 2015, Allen Morris